LOS ANGELES — “We’re gonna change the way people think about live shows.”
Brandon Flowers? Kanye West? Gerard Way? No, that’s Lucas Grabeel from “High School Musical.” The Disney Channel film’s young stars kick off their inaugural tour Wednesday (November 29) in San Diego, and while they’re unlikely to have the influence of, say, Pink Floyd, these teen sensations have big things planned for their arena outing.
“It’s a pop show, it’s a rock show, it’s a musical-theater show. It’s got everything,” promised Grabeel, who played Ryan Evans in the smash movie.
“It’s just real high-energy stuff,” added Corbin Bleu, who played Chad Danforth. “We have drums, we have jump-ropes, we have basketballs, we have just about every kind of prop you can think of.”
Grabeel is MCing the 90-minute show, which also features pyro, a live band and 30-foot screens projecting scenes from the movie.
“Me and Lucas are practically the same exact thing from the movie,” said Ashley Tisdale, who played Sharpay Evans. “I have the same dress on from [the musical number] ’Bop to the Top,’ but it’s for the live audience, so we get to hear the kids respond to it.”
The show will feature every song from “High School Musical” “pizzazzed up a little bit” (Grabeel’s words), along with the bonus track on the soundtrack, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” and solo tracks from Tisdale, Bleu, Vanessa Anne Hudgens and Monique Coleman. (Zac Efron is missing the tour due to the filming of “Hairspray.” He’ll be replaced by Drew Seely, who wrote some of the songs for the movie.)
“I’m doing a really fun one called ’Let’s Dance,’ a song that could be my next single called ’Say OK’ and my single, ’Come Back to Me,’ ” said Hudgens, who played Gabriella Montez.
Tisdale is singing her debut single, “He Said, She Said,” as well as “We’ll Be Together” and the title track to her album, “Headstrong.” “I’m very excited, especially because my album isn’t out yet, so it’s a chance for my fans to get to hear it first,” Tisdale said.
Bleu will also be debuting unreleased songs from his album, due in April, including the single “Push It to the Limit” and a song called “Marching.” “I actually pop out of the stage, as in I fly probably a couple feet in the air,” Bleu said. “It’s awesome.”
Coleman will be performing “Dance With Me” with Seeley, the latter’s contribution to the “Cheetah Girls 2″ soundtrack. “It’s sort of a celebration of the times I had on ’Dancing With the Stars,’ ” said Coleman, who played Taylor McKessie. “It’s a way for me to thank the fans that kept me on the show.”
The “High School Musical” tour is scheduled to wrap January 28 in Las Vegas, after which the cast will head to Utah to begin shooting a sequel to the movie (see ” ’High School Musical’ Stars Have Sequel, Solo Projects In The Works” ).
“All that I know is that it’s during the summer, school is out, and it takes place at Ryan and Sharpay’s country club, who are the drama king and queen,” Hudgens said. “And I am a lifeguard, so it should be interesting.”
“I think my summer job is gonna be the activities coordinator, which is perfect because I played Taylor, who is always in everything,” Coleman added.
Along with the sequel, various castmembers have other projects coming in 2007, beginning with Tisdale’s debut, due February 5. “It’s called Headstrong because I am a headstrong type of gal, let me tell you,” she said. “I co-wrote three of the songs, and really every single song is something I connect with, something that has happened in my life. I really wanted to come out with an album for my fans to get to know me better and not just a character doing all different kinds of songs just because they are fun.”
“He Said, She Said” was produced by J.R. Rotem, who helmed “SOS” for Rihanna. “It’s a little edgier, but it’s fun,” she said. “It’s a little bit pop, a little bit urban, something that my fans wouldn’t expect from me, but it’s just kind of a feel-good, dance kind of thing.”
Bleu’s album will likely be called Another Side. “Even though I sang in ’High School Musical,’ I didn’t have any solos, so nobody’s really heard me sing,” Bleu explained. “So this is another side of me people will get to see.”
Bleu has 19 songs recorded (five that he co-wrote) and is narrowing them down to 11. Tracks sure to make the cut include duets with Hudgens and a female rapper named Fan_3, as well as “I Get Lonely,” written by Ne-Yo. “It’s a song about this haunting memory of this breakup, and it’s just like it happened while it was raining, and every time it rains now, he gets lonely,” the singer said. “It’s incredible.”
Grabeel, meanwhile, has been writing music too, but his priority is acting. In recent months, he shot an indie film with Alyson Stoner (the young dancer in a handful of Missy Elliott videos) and Luke Perry called “Alice,” an animated movie called “Walking With Jesus” and a guest spot on the CW’s “Smallville.”
“I was young Lex Luthor, which is why my hair is short,” he said. “I actually haven’t had a day off in, like, two months.”